Futari Ecchi is an adultmanga by author Katsu Aki (Love Lucky, Psychic Academy), serialized in Japan in the bi-monthly Young Animal magazine.Yura Kawada and Makoto Onoda are two young adults who met recently at a match-making service. After falling in love at first sight, Makoto proposed to Yura soon afterwards... and she accepted! Now with the ceremony behind them, the two eager newlyweds are looking forward to their wedding night. However, there is just one problem: both are twenty-five year old virgins, and neither one of them have a clue about what to do in the bedroom.The story follows the inexperienced couple as they fumble their way through the ins and outs of married life. The pair are helped along the way by Makoto's pushy older brother Akira, Yura's "experienced" younger sister Rika, their somewhat over-eager parents, and a collection of decidedly quirky friends and neighbors. In the meanwhile, they make friends, make mistakes, make love, and hit upon just about any sexual problem or avenue you might think of (and probably some you wouldn't).While Futari Ecchi is an ero-manga, it is not your standard hentai fare. It is interspersed throughout with information, statistics and advice on nearly every aspect of relationships and sex: dating, physical intimacy, building deeper emotional connections with your spouse, the physical basis of attraction, suggested responses when approached by The Chikan, and just about everything in between. It also provides a fairly accurate — and at times, heartwarming — portrayal of a young Japanese couple taking the harrowing first steps towards their brand new life together. There is a Suspiciously Specific Denial that it's not hentai, but a marital aid in the first page after the title leaf.The series is being released in the United States by Tokyo Pop under the name Manga Sutra — Futari H, and has received a four-episode OVA Adaptation titled Step Up Love Story. Oh, and they're making a Live-Action Movie out of it, impossible though that seems.Now has a Character Sheet, so feel free to contribute.
Futari Ecchi provides examples of:
Abuse Is Okay When It's Female on Male: particularly with Makie, Makoto's coworker who only sleeps with married men and has her sights set on him. She has gone so far as to plant a Lipstick Mark on him and trick him into getting drunk to have sex with her.
A Date with Rosie Palms: Both male and female. In Yura's case, complete with a survey and pie chart of how women feel afterwards.
All Men Are Perverts: Well, the series is about sex, so this is kind of required. That said, Makoto, his brother Akira, his sister-in-law Rika and her boyfriend Yamada appear to have little else on their minds. Ever.
Taken to extremes with Makoto, whose idea of foreplay is often to grab Yura and say "I'm going in!" and pouts when she turns down one of his constant pleas for sex until she relents. His saving graces are that he's a Nice Guy aside of that and he really loves Yura a lot for reasons outside of sex too.
All the women are as well. Even Yura has her moments. In her case, it's actually Reconstructed; now a married woman, she can let her sex drive go towards her husband without feeling she's being a whore for being lustful.
Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Rika and Yamada have such moments from time to time, notwithstanding their hypocritical cheating on each other and their quarrelsomeness. Rika does end up marrying someone else, though.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Though nudity abounds in this series, most shots have the male characters' groins either blacked out or blocked from view by a convenient body part, object, or text bubble. On the occasions when this isn't feasible for male anatomy, it's replaced with a banana. See Right through his pants. (It should also be noted that Yura practiced her techniques on a banana... Coincidence?)
Interestingly, at the moment of penetration there is usually an inset box showing the genitals close-up. The catch is, it's a cross-section that looks like a clinical diagram of the organs, and so not designed for titillation.
Japanese law requires genitals to be censored. Some artists use obnoxious black boxes or "light saber" censorship, others use heavy shadows or creative positioning to avoid having to censor in the first place. And, on very rare occasions, this manga just doesn't show anything at all: hands or lips may be positioned around Makoto's etc, but it has either been erased or was never drawn in the first place.
Calling Your Orgasms: Makoto does this so often it's not even funny. Some of the other male characters also do it frequently. The female characters aren't above doing it either, but do it less often.
Caught with Your Pants Down: A variation; Makoto walks in on Yura watching one of his porn videos. In her defence, she didn't know what was on it.
Though played straight when Yura walks in on Makoto masturbating, though she does convince him to never do it again.
Chick Magnet: Several male characters, not least Makoto. One chick at his workplace in particular makes it all too apparent to him she wants to jump his bones, but naturally Makoto turns her down every time out of loyalty to Yura!
Edutainment: Strangely enough for a manga about sexual intercourse, you might learn something you didn't already know about sex while being entertained simultaneously!
Everybody Has Lots of Sex: To the point that a young mother, having watched her ten-year-old son's classmate burst into tears and call the boy a jerk, immediately assumes that the kid has seduced and then spurned said classmate. She even confronts her son about it in no uncertain terms.
Gambit Roulette: The playboy that Jun meets has various tricks for overcoming her initial reluctance and distrust and winning her heart (or at least the part of her that he's more interested in). One of them involves meeting her at the top of a long staircase, at which point Jun trips right before she gets to him, lands in his arms, and is left thinking that her heart is beating fast because of him rather than the stairs. How he could predict that she would trip at the right moment is anybody's guess.
Idealized Sex: Deconstructed Trope. Futari Ecchi is about two people who only know Idealized Sex (if that), and shows, realistically, what happens when they try to apply it in real life. Case in point the first time Makoto and Yura have sex, lets just say it's anything but romantic or magical!
Imagine Spot: Makoto, all the time. Occasionally happens to some other characters as well. This trope is also conveniently used to show Makoto having sex with other women while technically staying faithful to Yura.
Innocent Innuendo: Though being a sexualy explicit manga series, it has its share of this. Yura thinks Makoto is cheating on her with Rika when they were making noises. Turns out, they were both playing a fighting game.
It's All About Me: Makoto tends to focus on his own pleasure when in bed with Yura, at least partially because he doesn't actually know what else to do (justifying the existence of the work itself). Yamada, on the other hand, has no excuse for his refusal to use a condom regardless of any pregnancy potential. Rika eventually calls him on it by staging a pregnancy scare.
Law of Inverse Fertility: In the early volumes there was a plot to get Yura pregnant with Makoto's baby, they actively tried to make one, to no avail, so they decided to wait and take their time together to only then make such a big decision in their lives. After this event, there are small hints of them trying to make a baby again, but it falls on false alarm (the author dropping the plot kind); it seems Katsu Aki plans to make their child the series' climax, as after 50 Volumes Makoto and Yura still didn't get their baby.
Marital Rape License: Discussed in one chapter. Akira is alarmed to hear that Makoto and Yura haven't had sex recently, saying that Makoto should be able to just jump her whenever, and even cites the law stating that rape does not exist as a crime between married couples. His wife Sanae is quick to point out that this law has recently been changed. It's even more stupid considering that Akira is a lawyer.
The last part is Truth in Television. Ask a lawyer who works in the criminal area about economy-related legal issues: they'll likely won't be able to reply your question, since it's simply not their speciality. Also, we don't know in which legal area Akira works in.
Makoto exercises it on occasion as the series progresses, but out of stupidity rather than malice.
No Pregger Sex: Discussed in one chapter. One of Yura's friends ask her to babysitter her child while she and her husband are away for a few days; cue Makoto imagining how great it would be for Yura to became pregnant...just for the good of having unprotected sex. The friend then comments that while pregnat she still felt horny sometimes but was unable to, which drives Makoto near to a Heroic BSOD; then she corrects herself: in the early 3 months is ok but the penetration has to be superficial, after the 4th month is recommended to avoid sex.
Oh, Crap: A particularly good one is in the first episode of the OVA when Makoto walks in on Yura accidentally watching one of his videos, but both do get it in both anime and manga versions.
Yamada at the end of chapter 69 of the manga when his mother finds his girlfriend's panties.
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Makoto and Yura meet at a Japanese omiai at the beginning of the series, providing a successful example of this trope. It's however even pointed out by other characters that this is kind of unusual in this time.
Playboy Bunny: Book 30 of the manga put most of Makoto's female coworkers in this costume. Which gives ideas to Makoto, who brings home a bunny girl outfit for Yura.
Previously On: The second episode of the OVA starts, after the "stay back from the TV" message, with Makoto narrating over a fast-forward of the previous episode.
Public Service Announcement: Though not government-sponsored, this is the premise of the manga◊: a love manual that covers everything from the first time, fights and making up, to how love grows and new positions you can try. It comes complete with instructions (with cut-away diagrams!) and with statistics and surveys for reassurance.
Right Through His Pants: When Makoto and Yura have sex somewhere else than their bed, and even in their bed from time to time, Yura is most often completely naked while Makoto still wears his shirt and has his pants around his ankles. In a few instances, Yura also wears clothes, but she is always more lightly dressed than Makoto.
Spinoff: Futari Ecchi for Ladies was also written.
The Chikan: Briefly referenced when Yura was fondled, though justice was very swift with there being an undercover cop only feet away.
Their First Time: Since neither Makoto nor Yura know what they are doing, their first time together is extremely awkward. It starts with him not quite figuring out where to "put it", and things go downhill from there.
Also, Jun's sexual sex-discovery also involves her preparing for this. In one chapter she and her boyfriend go to a Love Hotel... but he fails to perform because he has phimosis and it hurts like Hell. They settle for masturbating each other instead.
Too Much Information: Inverted; some of the intended readership really did need this much information.
Invoked; Makoto is squicked when Akira starts telling him how useful fingers are in the bedroom. In fact, frank talk about sex often features he and Yura having this reaction... much as the target audience might.
Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Makoto is portrayed as being no more than average-looking, while Yura is a hottie on all aspects, and characters constantly wonder What Does She See in Him?. Rika opines in For Ladies that his significant paycheck was a major appeal. (Actual truth: they, you know, love each other and all that.)
Virginity Makes You Stupid: Both characters, though Yura at least has "My Girl Is Not a Slut" to justify it. (And even then, the attitudes of the characters around her suggest that, even if only among the eccentrics, it's becoming acceptable in Japan for women to be knowledgeable co-participants in bed.)